Posted by: Rael Kalley | October 10, 2015

322. The broad scope of things.

Yesterday’s I spent some time at Rockyview General Hospital.

I had been scheduled for something called a sigmoidoscopy.

For those of you unfamiliar with this term, a sigmoidoscopy is kind of like a colonoscopy for beginners – an entry level procedure, so to speak

The procedures takes just a few minutes and my entire time spent in the hospital was barely enough to put a dent in my day.

The results of the test revealed nothing startling other than to confirm what those of you who know me have long suspected – I am an @$$#*!+.

My purpose in writing about this has little to do with my reason for being at the hospital but rather to  once again highlight how fortunate we are to live in a country, and a province, where we can all enjoy the highest levels of healthcare services available and where the poorest among us is never denied service because of their inability to pay.

I know I have in the past written about the quality and availability of our healthcare system but each time I am required to participate within it I am reminded again of how blessed we are.

I know our system is not perfect and, like all institutions, the biggest room in the system is the room for improvement.

The area of the hospital I was in yesterday has three rooms in which these types of procedures are performed.

On every weekday there are eight scheduled outpatient procedures performed in each room in the morning and a further eight every afternoon.

In addition, upwards of 12 additional patients are brought down from their hospital beds to this facility.

That means 60 various types of diagnostic practices are completed every day insuring a need for efficiency that is quite remarkable to observe.

Out of curiosity, I spent some time researching the cost of these procedures in other locales. In the U.S., for those not covered by health insurance, the cost of a colonoscopy varies by provider and geographic region, usually ranging from $2,010 to $3,764, while a sigmoidoscopy averages around $1,600.00.

I was provided a requisition for some blood work and on my way out of the hospital quickly stopped in at the lab and had this done.

This too was provided at no cost to me.

I must acknowledge that my visits to the hospital yesterday was not entirely free. I paid $6.25 for parking.

A pretty good deal don’t you think?

Please forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but I’m a staunch defender of our health system and have little tolerance for those who complain about it.

As we have so often discussed the fact that every event in our lives has only meaning we choose to place upon it and I choose as to be eternally grateful for living in the country that take such good care of the health needs of its citizens .

As I was getting dressed to leave I overheard a young man in the bed next to mine telling the nurse that he, both his brothers and his father all suffer from Crohn’s disease and that their illness brings them to this hospital on a repeated basis.

He further mentioned that it is rare for a whole month to go by without at least one of them needing to visit the hospital and his comment to the nurse is one I will remember for a long time.

He said, “being ill all the time is very stressful and the stress spreads throughout my entire family, but the one thing that is comforting to all of us is to know that no matter how bad our symptoms are when we arrive at the hospital the one thing that we never take home with us when we leave a bill.”

I think that says it all.

Till we read again.


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